A couple years ago, my parents moved out of the house I grew up in – a 20 acre parcel of land with rolling hills, giant oaks, a moss-covered creek, a catfish-filled pond, and grazing cows. Aside from my dad’s aviaries filled with 300+ birds (seriously! we had a mini business!) he also grew an orchard of fruit trees (one for each of us – mine was pomegranate!) rows of vegetables, and a greenhouse that was bursting at the seams. My dad is one of those gardeners who just knows how to take care of plants intuitively, and after 25 years under his careful watch, everything was lush and healthy and strong.
When my parents finally moved, I was worried that my dad would regret leaving this property that he’d invested so much time and energy in, and giving up his birds, greenhouse, and garden for a much smaller piece of land. It soon became clear, though, that he saw it as a new challenge, and he set out to make this an equally incredible space. He brought in trailers filled with soil from one of our old rancher neighbors – a mixture of horse manure and wood shavings that’s been turned over for the better part of a decade. He started a compost system that was soon cooking the most beautiful rich soil you’ve ever seen. He got his birds back, just in the form of chickens this time, which turn out both fresh eggs and a steady supply of chicken manure to feed the plants. (By the way, if you are worried about the welfare of these chickens, don’t be – my dad is the bird whisperer and these birds are living it up!) It’s only his second year here, and already the garden seems like it’s coming into its own. There are constantly bees buzzing through the bushes, hummingbirds zipping by in every corner of the yard (I told you, bird whisperer) and you can just tell that everything is healthy and happy. Honestly, every person that comes to see it falls in love instantly – it’s that magical.
I realize that this might be a weird piece to put on the Sidesaddle blog, but I’m just really proud of my dad and his garden! I think everyone should see it…. Maybe I’ll start giving tours?
Your dad and his garden is awesome. So lush an beautiful! I can only dream of having a garden like that some day!